Page:Court Royal.djvu/127

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.


She had brushed back her hair, and put on her a pretty white cap.

‘Oh ho! on my word!’ exclaimed the Jew. ‘What sweet simplicity! Holloa, my pert Betsy Jane!’ He chucked her under the chin insolently.

Joanna flushed crimson, and, striking him in the chest, sent him staggering back, to tumble over a stool and sprawl on the ground.

‘I will do what you bid,’ she said, angrily, ‘but touch me if you dare.’

Then the shop-door rang, and Joanna heard a voice calling her. She left Lazarus on the floor, rubbing his shin, and went into the shop. There stood Charles Cheek.

‘Well now!’ exclaimed the young man, ‘this is a transformation scene in a pantomime. What is the meaning of this?’

‘Mr. Cheek,’ said Joanna, ‘I have been considering what you said to me the other day. I am going into another element, to learn the manners of the gulls. It is a voyage of discovery. I know no more of the habits and speech and thoughts of those I am going to see than if I were about to visit Esquimaux.’


CHAPTER XVI.
VENITE.

On the last day of November Joanna was deposited with her box at the gate of Court Royal Lodge. A servant came out, and helped her to carry the box round by the back door into the house. She was taken to her room, where she rapidly divested herself of her travelling clothes and assumed apron and cap. The fellow-servant looked critically at her, and said, ‘Oh my! how young you be! How many sweethearts have you had? Among them a redcoat, I reckon, if you’ve been in Plymouth. I should dearly like to have a redcoat. They be beautiful creatures.’

‘I have no sweetheart,’ answered Joanna.

‘Then I reckon you won’t be long without one here. There be gamekeepers here and the footmen. But of that another